We The Journalists: Jorge Sedano
Jorge Sedano has been a radio personality for over 13 years. The former FIU student was the overnight host (2 to 6 a.m.) on Fox Sports Radio from 2004 to 2007. He is currently the program director of the sports talk radio station WQAM and the afternoon host (3 to 7 p.m.) there, in addition to his duties as the studio host for Miami Heat games on Sun Sports and his work as a sports anchor on CBS 4. He was named one of the top 20 professionals under 40 by Brickell Magazine in 2012.
By Ryan Cortes
Jorge Sedano has jumped from media job to media job over the last decade, each one a bigger step for the former FIU student. From 2004 to 2007, Sedano hosted the overnight show on national Fox Sports Radio, before hosting a midday show on 790AM/104.3FM The Ticket in 2007. Sedano has since departed and now holds not one, not two, not three, but four media jobs. He is the the program director and afternoon host (3 to 7 p.m.) on 560 WQAM, the studio host for Miami Heat games on Sun Sports and a sports anchor on CBS 4. You can follow him on Twitter here.
SPJ SoFla: You recently took over as program director of WQAM (in addition to hosting the afternoon show), so what’s one part of your job that most folks don’t realize you do?
Jorge Sedano: I’m managing two other departments that relate to programming. I handle marketing/promotions as well as the Digital Content on the station. We are currently rebooting our initiatives in those areas. Which, is a ton of work!
What’s your career highlight and lowlight?
I’m currently experiencing my career highlight. I’m running the station I grew up listening to, along with hosting the slot I grew up coveting. As a kid, I used to dream of being the guy who hosted the afternoon slot on WQAM.
Career Low Light: My first gig was at a small mom & pop operation. The station went belly up after 18 months. I found myself out of the business for 9 months. I worked for one of my best friends during that time, before being fortunate enough to get back in as an update anchor at Clear Channel. I swallowed a lot of pride, going from host to update anchor and fought really hard to get back on air. Fortunately, it all worked out.
Most frustrating part of your job now? Most fun part?
Most frustrating part of the job is doing budgets. It’s a long, arduous process. It’s no fun. Most fun part takes place between 3-7 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Give us your weird dues-paying gig you had to go through to arrive where you are now.
When I was an intern, I was forced to go back to Taco Bell for my hosts. It was annoying, but part of the deal, I guess. Also, when I was I first arrived at Clear Channel, I knew I was better than the host I was doing updates for. I bit my tongue, put my head down and just did my job. This business is funny. People do a lot of dumb things to get fired. Ego is usually the biggest reason. It eventually got me the gig hosting and the rest is history.
If you had to do your career all over again, anything you’d do differently? Biggest regret?
Zero. Everything I’ve been through at every stop, has molded me into the professional and person I am today. No B.S. 100 percent true.
One piece of advice you wish you could surgically implant into college students and young professionals aspiring to a media career?
You have to be willing to bend over backwards to stay in this business. Talent isn’t everything. It’s an obvious starting point, but you need tons of patience and a lot of luck. Also, be nice to everyone. You never know who your next boss will be. Trust me.
The future of radio as you see it?
The future of radio is in the digital platform. Much like in TV, you need to be available to the audience in every way, shape and form. Whether that’s online via streams & podcasts or on mobiles and tablets. As time goes by, as many people will be listening via those outlets as they do on their actual radios.
Most memorable phone call of your life?
When I was on Fox Sports Radio doing overnights nationally, I had a someone call in to tell me that I got them through the most difficult time of their life. The guy was diagnosed with cancer and was dealing with all that comes with the disease. He said my show got him through many months of his battle. I’ve never been more touched. Here’s a person I’ve never met telling me I gave him the strength to make it through the most trying time in his life. It blew my mind. I’m doing a goofy sports show—I never expected a call like that one. Thinking about it, it still makes me a bit emotional.
Throughout March, April, May and June, SPJ South Florida Pro will feature Q&As every Friday with South Florida’s most prominent journalists. Want to see someone featured? Want to join SPJ? Email us.
Ryan Cortes is the student board member for SPJ South Florida Pro. Follow him on Twitter.